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High Level intro to Semantic Web. Last update: 2012-02-29. Let’s organize a trip from Amsterdam to Aix-en-Provence using the Web!. You try to find a proper flight with …. The Dutch airline. The French sister. A low-cost alternative. You have to find a hotel, so you can look for….

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High level intro to semantic web

High Level intro to Semantic Web

Last update: 2012-02-29


Let s organize a trip from amsterdam to aix en provence using the web
Let’s organize a trip from Amsterdam to Aix-en-Provence using the Web!











You may want to know something about aix en provence look for some photographs
You may want to know something about Aix-en-Provence:look for some photographs…



What happened
What happened?

  • You had to consult a large number of sites, all different in style, purpose, possibly language…

  • You had to mentally integrate all those information to achieve your goals

  • We all know that, sometimes, this is a long and tedious process!


The real meat is the data

All those pages are only tips of respective icebergs:

the real data is hidden in databases, XML files, Excel sheets, …

you only have access to what the Web page designers allow you to see

The real “meat” is the data!


  • Specialized sites (Expedia, TripAdvisor) do a bit more:

    • they gather and combine data from other sources (usually with the approval of the data owners)

    • but they still control how you see those sources

  • But sometimes you want to personalize: access the original data and combine it yourself!



And it gets boring
and it gets boring… “friends” by…

  • I have to type the same data again and again…

  • And this is even worse: I feed the icebergs…


What would we like to have
What would we like to have? “friends” by…

  • The raw data should be available on the Web

    • let the community figure out what applications are possible…




but… “friends” by…

  • Mashup sites are forced to do very ad-hoc jobs

    • various data sources expose their data via Web Services, API-s

    • each with a different API, a different logic, different structure

    • mashup sites are forced to reinvent the wheel many times because there is no standard way getting to the data! 


What would we like to have1
What would we like to have? “friends” by…

  • The raw data should be available in a standard way on the Web

    • i.e., using URI-s to access data

    • dereferencing that data should lead to something useful


Why is that so important
Why is that so important? “friends” by…

  • What makes the current (document) Web work?

    • people create different documents

    • they give an address to it (i.e., a URI) and make it accessible to others on the Web


Then some magic happens
Then some magic happens… “friends” by…

  • Others discover the site and they link to it

  • The more they link to it, the more important and well known the page becomes

    • remember, this is what, eg, Google exploits!

  • This is the “Network effect”: some pages become important, and others begin to rely on it even if the author did not expect it…


This could be expected… “friends” by…


But this was not planned! “friends” by…


Network effect on the data
Network effect on the data “friends” by…

  • The same network effect works on the raw data

    • Many people link to the data, use it

    • Much more (and diverse) applications will be created than the “authors” would even dream of!


Is that it ie let s publish the data on the web and we are done
Is that it? “friends” by…Ie: let’s publish the data on the Web and we are done?


Not quite
Not quite… “friends” by…


We do not want that! “friends” by…

Photo credit “nepatterson”, Flickr


Imagine
Imagine… “friends” by…

  • A “Web” where

    • documents are available for download on the Internet

    • but there would be no hyperlinks among them

  • This is certainly not what we want!


What would we like to have2
What would we like to have? “friends” by…

  • The raw data should be available in a standard way on the Web

  • There should be links among datasets


Some relationships already exist among the datasets
Some relationships “friends” by…already exist among the datasets!


Some relationships already exist among the datasets1
Some relationships “friends” by…already exist among the datasets!

Aix-en-Provence on Wikipedia

Aix-en-Provence on “Provence and Beyond”



We want to link the silos! “friends” by…

Photo credit “kxlly”, Flickr


Is that it ie let s publish the data on the web add html like hyperlinks and we are done
Is that it? “friends” by…Ie: let’s publish the data on the Web, add HTML-like hyperlinks and we are done?


Not quite but almost
Not quite “friends” by…… but almost!


But it is a little bit more complicated
But it is a little bit more complicated “friends” by…

  • On the traditional Web, humans are implicitly taken into account

  • A Web link has a “context” that a user implicitly uses 


  • A human understands that this is where my office is, “friends” by…i.e/, the institution’s home page

  • He/she knows what it means

    • realizes that it is a research institute in Amsterdam

  • But, when handling data, something is missing; machines can’t make sense of the link alone


  • New lesson learned: “friends” by…

    • extra information (“label”) must be added to a link: “this links to my institution, which is a research institute”

    • this information should be machine readable

    • this is a characterization (or “classification”) of both the link and its target

    • in some cases, the classification should allow for some limited “reasoning”


What would we like to have3
What would we like to have? “friends” by…

  • The raw data should be available in a standard way on the Web

  • Datasets should be linked

  • Links, data, sites, should be characterized, classified, etc.

  • In future: possibility to write and change data…

    • but that is still further down the line

  • The result is a Web of Data


So what is the semantic web
So What is the Semantic Web? “friends” by…



  • It is that simple… of Data

  • Of course, the devil is in the details

    • a common data model data has to be provided

    • the “classification” of the terms can become very complex

    • data in traditional databases should be reached

    • but these details are fleshed out by experts as we speak!


In the end
In the end… of Data

  • More an more data should be “published” on the Web

    • this can lead to the “network effect” on data

  • New breeds of applications come to the fore

    • “mashups on steroids”

    • better representation and usage of community knowledge

    • new customization possibilities


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